Saturday, November 29, 2008

Dialing international calls with SkypeOut

To make an international call, precede the phone number with a plus sign (+) followed by the country code and the area code and local number. To find the country code, use the SkypeOut Dialing Wizard. On the Windows platform, you open this wizard by choosing Tools➪Call Forwarding and then clicking the Get Help Entering Phone Numbers link. On the Macintosh platform, you may have to add a plus (+) symbol, followed by the country code, the area code, and then the seven-digit phone number (even for local numbers). In the United States, the country code is 1. So, for example, to call toll-free information, you enter +1 800 555 1212. The link for the SkypeOut Dialing Wizard does not appear until you have bought SkypeOut credit.
When you click this link, you are taken to a Web page that lets you choose which country you want and assists you in entering the number correctly.
Macintosh users have a slick feature called a Widget that enables Skype users with Skype credit to make SkypeOut calls. It incorporates the long-distance calling wizard, so you don’t even need to go to a Web page to construct the phone number.
At the time you make your SkypeOut call, you know immediately what rate you are being charged. Skype alerts you to the calling rate by displaying a little caption that might say “United Kingdom 0.0253 $ per minute”. Very handy if you are watching your budget. The number used in this example is a purely fictitious number. If you use a number that doesn’t exist or is invalid, Skype warns you. As a particularly nice feature of SkypeOut, when you make SkypeOut calls, Skype stores or caches the numbers even if they are not part of your Skype Contacts list. The next time you start dialing a SkypeOut number, the portion of the number you dial is matched against your Skype contacts and previously called SkypeOut numbers from the current session. For example, if you start typing the 212 area code, all your 212 numbers pop up to the top of the Contacts list. If you see your SkypeOut number in the displayed list, you can click it and call the number. This is great if you frequently make international calls to the same number. It is a time saver, and you won’t risk making errors when you try to dial a long number.

1 comment:

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